STORY OF THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR 365
about and China would not be ready for a war of resistance. From Chiang's release at Sian dated the rapprochement between the Kuomintang and the Communists, the Communists promising to relinquish their party programme and demanding in return only Nanking's pledge to resist Japan and never to sign away an inch of Chinese territory to Japan.
The Sian incident proved to be the signal for the rallying of all Chinese factions and parties behind Chiang Kaishek for a united resistance against J&pan. Thus was a circle completed, beginning with the Japanese denunciations of Chiang Kaishek in the summer of 1935 and ending with the complete alignment of the Chinese people behind Mm as the national leader in December of 1936.
Writing in the Spring of 1937 ("China Prepares to Resist," Foreign Affairs, April, 1937, New York) I concluded with the warning of a final explosion and an appeal to reason: ". . . finally, there is China, embittered by years of bullying at the hand of a nation which in her heart she really despises, hardened by a period of disillusionment in international diplomacy, and finally taught the lesson of ultimate reliance upon herself. At the head of the nation, keyed up at last to the tune of modern nationalism, eaten up by bitter hatred of the invaders, and unified by one single powerful emotion, is a determined, wily, modern statesman-soldier. So much of China's national consciousness has been suppressed in past years by the Chinese Government that when eventually it explodes, as it will if Japanese pressure is continued, the world will be startled. The explosion will have more spectacular results than the last Shanghai War. The only alternative is a prompt application of the old philosophy of'live and let live.5 "
I have been at pains to sketch at considerable length the foundations of Chinese resistance and gradual drawing together and alignment of forces in the years preceding the war, in order to show, and enable Western readers to understand, the solid structure and inner fabric of this Chinese resistance which has given the world a surprise. I wanted to show, in the first place, that the strength of Chinese resistance was built up in the years between 1932 and 1937 and not after it, and that China profited a great deal by the "spiritual mobilization" of